perfume and miasma (2011)
I was struck by the strange aura of this place. At once beautiful and repulsive, the Gowanus revealed itself to me slowly, layer by infinite layer. A bird in the sky crosses paths with an airplane. Train tracks above. A hidden life lives below the waters. Tires lining parts of the canal are marked with the horizontal insistence of the waters gentle tide. Surrounded by bridges, factories, trash, plants and animals. Endless juxtapositions. A thick layer of oil becomes the canal’s skin.
A pencil dropped in a graphite mine (2011)
Camilo Leyva and Rebecca Volinsky
Video documentation (10:23), Sculpture (orange fence)
It was the third Sa turday of October when we set sail for the canal in Brooklyn. The air was crisp, and winter just around the corner. We trusted ourselves to the mercy of the currents which led us to a peculiar island. Acting upon this wooden island we found what happened saturated with meaning that we still continue to untangle. Now, this story is yours.
Non-Aqueous Phase Liquid (2011)
Cardboard and steel
18” x 10” x 36”
The EPA has designated the Gowanus Canal a superfund site. What exactly does this mean, and what are the ramifications for the surrounding community? Reflecting on the myriad charts, graphs and scientific visualisations of the various pollutants embedded within the Gowanus, I decided to visualize one of the intriguing toxic acronyms - NAPL’s. In photos of core samples, non-aqueous phase liquids resemble jello-like sections of earth, a reminder of 3 manufactured gas plants that operated on the Gowanus. This substance, among a laundry list of others, is visible caressing the surface of the Gowanus as a thin sheen - anonymous blobs jettisoned from underground reservoirs.
The Forgotten 2011
Walking, looking down, the search for forgotten, broken, corroding objects becomes a meditation. The sounds of heavy machinery, and the constant hum of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway are the bells in this temple. The forgotten objects take the shape of a shrine. You are welcome to sit, to let your breathing slow, and to lose track of time.
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